“The majority adopts an unprecedented holding that a fee simple interest in land submerged by water cancels riparian rights presumptively recognized under the common law for at least 140 years. The consequences of what began as a family squabble are not confined to the parties before us but fundamentally transform property rights for thousands of Wisconsin property owners along hundreds of flowages. Such a dramatic change in the law should be the legislature’s prerogative, not that of the four justices comprising the majority.”
Justice Rebecca Bradley
PROTECT OUR PIERS AND PUT A STOP TO DISAPPEARING DOCKS
For 140 years, all Wisconsin waterfront property owners had the right to place a pier to enjoy the Badger State’s wonderful waterways.
A recent decision by the Wisconsin courts has taken that right away for those who live on flowages.
With that decision, landowners and small businesses with thousands of dollars invested on their waterfront to better use their property are now on the verge of losing the right to place any pier along the water’s edge — just because someone else may own the ground under a man-made lake.